Ten ways to spur creative thinking part 1

Here are the five ideas for how to get started:

1. Work alone

Some people are more creative when working alone, compared with working in a team. Within groups, individuals may fear rejection of their ideas. There is also the problem of ‘group-think’, where the dominant member leads others down a certain thought path.

It is therefore useful for team members to brainstorm ideas alone and then get together to discuss, workshop, and select the best ones.

2. Get away

Bill Gates is known for retreating to a private place for week-long periods, taking only a pile of books with him.

It is difficult to come up with fresh and lucid ideas when your mind is cluttered with information and the stress of daily life. So, take a break. Leave your email account and mobile phone behind and spend some time in isolation clearing your mind.

Whether your preference is sitting sit on the beach, jogging in the park, or locking yourself in your bedroom with some books, taking time away from the office can prove a fruitful exercise in refreshing the mind.

3. Make a start

It’s a cliché to say that starting is the hardest part, but it’s a simple truth. You don’t need an amazing beginning – just start and the ideas will start to flow as you delve further into your project. You can always make changes later if you aren’t happy with your starting point.

Many authors lay testimony to this. It takes a great deal of self-discipline and commitment to sit in front of the computer every day and write.

4. Write it down

Start your brainstorming session by writing any thoughts down. These ideas will lead to others, which will lead to more still. You will surprise yourself with the number of ideas you generate by simply using pen and paper.

5. Work with others

Once you have exhausted your imagination, it’s time to increase the stakes. Discuss your ideas with colleagues, or even people outside the workplace, as they may have a fresh perspective. Your ideas will bounce off each other and you can develop the concepts further, even just by expressing them aloud.